Posts Tagged ‘Premier League’
Luis Suarez has been favourably compared to Carlos Tevez by many observers, including Suarez himself. Looking at the way Tevez has played this season for Man City, there is plenty of room in the Premier League for a player who can emulate him. For Liverpool fans, though, emulation is never enough. We demand greatness from our No. 7s.
Suarez himself cited Tevez as the catalyst for his desire to play in England, “When I see the way that Tevez plays there I think I can be a big name in England. It’s because of the energy, and the spirit they put into the game in England. Now, I think it’s a kind of football that suits me.”
Suarez’s first flirtation with greatness came at his native club, Nacional. He joined as an 18 year old in 2005 and scored 10 goals in 21 appearances to fire them to the domestic title.
His next move personified a man with total confidence in his ability and a fearless nature. He entered Europe via the Netherlands and Groningen. The 19 year old could not speak a word of English or Dutch, so let his football do the talking. In analysing how well he did there, you only have to look at who came knocking for him next: Ajax. He signed for the masters of Dutch football after just one year in Eredivisie, aged 20.
Suarez became an instant hero at Ajax, scoring one and setting up three in an 8-1 demolition of De Graafschap on his debut. A brace in his home debut set him on course for a very respectable 22/44 for his first season in Europe.
By contrast, Tevez chose to spend his early career in South America. As a 17 year old for Boca Juniors he showed his potential without ever being prolific in front of goal. However, his time there convinced Corinthians to part with £13.7m in 2005 for the 20 year old. It was the biggest transfer fee in the history of South American football, funded by Kia Joorabchian’s Media Sports Investments. The faith shown in Tevez by this transfer fee was soon rewarded as he fired 31 goals in 47 games for them and became the first non-Brazilian to be named footballer of the year since 1976.
By the age of 20 Suarez and Tevez had chosen very different career paths but with similar success.
The goals Tevez has scored in England combined with his work ethic and a never-say-die attitude have enabled him to become a hero on both sides of Manchester over the past three years. On top of that, it must not be forgotten how he single handedly kept West Ham United in the Premier League in 2007.
Throughout the same period, Suarez has scored 81 goals in 110 games for Ajax, demanded and received the captaincy of the club at the age of 22 and joined the likes of Cruyff, van Basten and Bergkamp in their “100 Club”. He also kept his native Uruguay in the World Cup “single handedly” with a great save against Ghana.
In terms of their style of play they are remarkably similar, and Suarez has shown already that he has the potential for greatness. They both have the opportunity to become the greatest South American this country has ever seen.
My money is on Luis to take the crown.
Follow Me on Twitter: @joescouse_lfc
The days of Roy Hodgson are now distant memories.
A superb brace from Fernando Torres, and a dipping volley struck on its sweet spot by Raul Meireles set Dalglish on his first win as Reds’ boss twenty years after his return to the hot-seat.
Much of the pre-match hype was built upon Liverpool’s woeful away record at the Molineux, with the Reds having never recorded a victory in their past 6 outings at the home of Wolves.
Yet it was a clash Liverpool fans were firmly anticipating, in hope and faith that a turnaround would be round the corner. Dalglish, commenting in his pre-match presser, said that he couldn’t be bothered if Liverpool were ‘battered’ and that 3 points took precedence over any positive performances.
However, not only did he get 3 points, but also an all-action, dedicated and gritty performance from all his Liverpool stars as they sought to retify the wreakage their away form as brought them all season.
A clean sheet, three goals, purposeful passing, and last ditch defending. It couldn’t get better than that could it? All players who are bestowed the honour of wearing the Liverbird on their chests demostrated why it is so crucial to uphold the club’s reputation and save this season.
Kenny Dalglish made only one change from the side that drew 2-2 against Everton last week, with Danish international, Christian Poulsen slotting in place of local lad Jay Spearing.
The game started off on an edgy note, with Poulsen picking up a booking just after 3 minutes. As the game started to crawl into life, Liverpool were striving with more endeavour, especially with a reinvigorated Torres threatening in the final third.
Liverpool players were displaying some nifty footwork, and Torres shot warning signs to Wolves’ defence as he drove a shot towards Hennessey, who could only parry it away.
Just under 10 minutes from half time and purpose paid off as a patient Liverpool got their reward.
Poulsen, under fire from Liverpool fans following his poor performances, spotted a run from Meireles and thoughtfully slided the ball through the whole of Wolves’ defence. Screams of offsides bellowed as Wolves’ players waved their hands in frenzy, only for them to see Meireles squaring the ball to Torres who gleefully slotted it into an open net, evading the despairing dive of Hennessey. Advantage Liverpool.
Early on in the second half, Kuyt could have doubled the lead if not for an on rushing Hennessey who made himself look like a giant to deny the Dutchman from bagging a goal.
Yet the Wolves keeper looked on in helplessness, when on the 50th minute, the ball fell to Meireles’ feet, who unleashed an unstoppable, deceivingly dipping volley which rifled to the top corner of the net. There was just no way for Hennessey to save that!
Liverpool were then forced onto the backfoot, with former Liverpool winger Adam Hammill brought on to add fresh impetus to a Wolves’ side sorely lacking in the final third.
For a good spell of twenty minutes or so, Liverpool defended with a lion’s heart, as they seeked to protect their two-goal cushion. They came through that period thankfully, and as the clock winded down, Wolves started to run out of steam and resigned themselves to facing the inevitable.
Liverpool had other ideas. Instead of just trying to protecting their lead they were rejuvenated and hungry for more. Towards the end of the whistle, Liverpool held the ball for extended periods of time, probing with precision and instinct.
And patience paid off once again, as Liverpool strung 30 passes in the build up to Torres’ 3rd goal.
It was magnificient, a joy to watch. That 1:30 min spell was Liverpool at its very best. As they say, ‘Pass and move it’s the Liverpool groove’!
The fans broke into chants of You’ll Never Walk Alone, there was unbelievable support and fans were waving scarves welcoming Dalglish’s second coming.
As the referee blew the whistle, the players heaved a huge sigh of relief. With that away demon now out of the way, the players can built upon this impressive performance and hopefully come away with 3 points on Wednesday night against Fulham at Anfield.
Meireles, a shining star. Torres, El Nino. And the best of Liverpool. With Gerrard to return after serving a three-game suspension, the best is yet to be.
Kenny keeps pretty much the same starting eleven that played last week in the derby with Christian Poulsen starts instead of Jay Spearing.
Starting XI : Pepe Reina, Martin Kelly, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Maxi Rodriguez, Lucas Leiva, Christian Poulsen, Dirk Kuyt, Raul Meireles, Fernando Torres.
Subs : Peter Gulacsi, Joe Cole, Dani Pacheco, Fabio Aurelio, Jay Spearing, Sotiris Kyrgiakos, Jonjo Shelvey.
Follow the game live on @empireofthekop
Friday Nov 19Posted by: Justin Heron Comments Off
As Liverpool prepare to take on West Ham at Anfield, its injuries that are the main talking point.
Liverpool find themselves without captain Steven Gerrard for the game and several others, following injury on England duty, an injury that was confirmed as a “significant” grade two hamstring tear by Dr Peter Brukner when the player returned to Melwood for assessment. Aside from the enigmatic talisman the Reds also find themselves without Joe Cole (Hamstring), Daniel Agger (calf), Jay Spearing (ankle) and Lucas Leiva who sits out on a one game suspension following his red card at Stoke.
Jay Spearing was the latest to join the injured party after a training accident on Friday in a 5aside saw him crack a bone just below his fibia, leaving him looking at a spell of around 6 weeks on the sidelines.
Liverpool do welcome back to the ranks Fabio Aurelio, Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres and Martin Skrtel as they go in search of three points following a defeat and draw away from home in the Premier League in the last two games.
While the FA confirm that Liverpool are set to receive an estimated £500,000.00 from their insurers following the injury sustained by Gerrard in the defeat against France, Roy Hodgson was keen to keep his visible disappointment to a minimum and let the matter pass.
“As Liverpool manager I am frustrated and disappointed to lose such an important player for such a long period of time,” he said.
The Christmas break and the opening of the next transfer window cannot come quick enough for the Reds, who strength in depth is soon exposed if the first eleven suffer an injury or two. Although it remains to be seen if NESV and John Henry will in fact focus their recruitment process on the summer and make little or no delving into the mid season opportunity, one that historically proven itself to be anything but the “January Sales” for many a club.
It’s not just Liverpool that have troubles on the injury front as West Ham see their squad affected by the loss of Da Costa (ankle), Haim (ankle), Noble (appendicitis) as well as the long term injuries to Edgar, Kurucz, Collison & Hitzlsperger. Scott Parker was the latest player looking set to be ruled out of the fixture, as a chest infection seems destined to derail his part in the game.
A point or more for West Ham will see them come off the bottom if Wolves see defeat but a win for Liverpool would keep them in touch with the pack chasing the top four.
While matters concerning a certain beach ball dominated the headlines last season when Liverpool and Sunderland met, the start of this seasons meetings yields a very different picture.
With protests planned at Anfield this afternoon in an effort to step up the process to remove owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett from the fold, the future of the club grabs more headlines than the team sheet does for once. The eleven that faced Northampton midweek in the Carling Cup Catastrophe find themselves with no starting position in todays side as Roy Hodgson rings the changes in search of 3pts to push Liverpool up the table from the 16th position they languish in at present, albeit after just only five games being played. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has issued a rallying call to the troops in recent days and a resurgence to the level of the effort made by Liverpool’s fans, the Spirit of Shankly and similar organisations is required.
Liverpool find themselves with only Dirk Kuyt (shoulder) and Fabio Aurelio on the injury list while Sunderland currently have nine players (Gyan, Richardson, Ferdinand, Turner, Campbell, Mensah, McCartney, Gordon & Meyler) on the treatment table gradually coming back to the side over the next month. Titus Bramble is expected to feature for the the Black Cats despite recent troubles in his personal life.
Liverpool have won just one of their last 7 league games in the Premiership but Sunderland’s away record has seen them only take maximum points on the road, twice in their last 31 outings.
Expected Line Ups:
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Poulsen, Meireles, Gerrard, Cole, Torres
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bramble, Turner, Onuoha, Bardsley, Henderson, Cattermole, Malbranque, Elmohamady, Welbeck, Bent
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Liverpool travel to St Andrews for their next Premier League outing, hoping to take more than the point that David Ngog’s strike earned them on their last visit.
With Liverpool drawing both games last season against Birmingham, 2-2 at home and 1-1 away, plus the previous 4 Premier League games before that, when these teams have met, they will certainly be looking to improve on their away record. The only away outing so far this season saw the side go down 3-0 at Eastlands to Manchester City and last years league record on their travels was certainly nothing to boast about, with the side taking just 21 points from the avilable 57 on the road.
The Reds travelling party see’s Dirk Kuyt staying at home as he recovers from his shoulder injury sustained on international duty for Holland, Maxi Rodriguez is excpected to get the nod to start on the right flank. Kuyt is also joined in the physio room by Fabio Aurelio who is trying to shake off a minor achilles injury, along with David Ngog who continues to recover from a hamstring problem. Liverpool will be boosted by the inclusion of Paul Konchesky who is expected to start and make his debut while Portugal’s Raul Meireles is favoured to be on the bench to begin with.
Birmingham have Phillips and Parnaby all under treatment at the moment and ruled out of the game, whilst Hleb and Larsson may be fortunate to pass late fitness tests on their recent ailments. New arrivals Martin Jiranek and Jean Beausejour, should also be available to make their debuts.
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